Little Bellas

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“Come to Cody” they said, “Ok, how’s June 2020*?”

Two mountain bikers taking in the expansive Wyoming landscape
Go as far as the mind can ride in Cody, Wyoming
photo: Cody Yellowstone

Cody, Wyoming is where you go to breathe. There in Cody the expansive landscapes outlast your merely mortal range of vision and the mountains in the distance are the property of the public – they don’t care about how much money you make, what your social status is, or where you come from. At the moment, pioneering young families intent on building a new life for themselves have started to unravel the stiff traditional fabric of this historic western town, only to seamlessly weave it again with new values related to outdoor recreation, specifically cycling.

It starts with a capital "C"

Cody’s outdoor recreation-minded local government, a bike shop dedicated to the community it serves, and advocacy groups that lobby tirelessly for the space to play outdoors, seem to passionately want to lower the barriers of entry into cycling. Clubs, youth organizations, and school programs are all determined to get more kids to swing a leg over a bike and start pedaling, and they literally started from the ground up. Cody’s trail system is the result of a collaboration between local nonprofit advocacy group, the Park County Pedalers, the municipal government, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Introducing Nyla Hurley

New Little Bellas program lead, Nyla Hurley, chased by a pair of rainbows in Cody, Wyoming.
Image courtesy of Emily Taylor

Next June Little Bellas will join local efforts to get more kids on bikes when the inaugural Cody chapter kicks off at Beck Lake Park. The park features machine-built singletrack, a bike park, slickrock, and some trails that are a bit more technical. Leading the Little Bellas charge is Nyla Hurley, a Cody native who left for school and then returned to dedicate herself to her community. Nyla claims that the timing for starting Little Bellas in Cody couldn’t be more perfect. The potent Cody Biker Chix club has been getting more women on bikes for the past 20 years and, if experience has proven anything to Little Bellas, women who mountain bike are motivated to mentor the next generation of shredders.

“There are a couple different factors that inspired me to bring Little Bellas to Cody,” Nyla said, “the Cody Biker Chix was one of them. I want the camaraderie of the Biker Chix for all women and girls in my town. A lot of women that I ride with have daughters and I want them to be able to build friendships through mountain biking.”

Getting some air at Beck Lake Park in Cody, Wyoming
Cody's mix of trails makes sure that everyone will ride satisfied
photo: Cody Yellowstone

Mountain biking happens all year-round in Cody, it just depends on how mild the winter is. The soil content aids in draining trails to keep them dry but if the trails get soaked, Wyoming’s abundant public land is laced with old gravel logging roads, which are free to use any time of the year. Nyla has scheduled Little Bellas to take place during the summer months when temperatures sway gently between 70’s and 80’s.

What happens when the ride is over?

Cody mountain bikers often finish a ride by tailgating at the trailhead where everyone brings a little something to share. There’s also a Plan B (or maybe it’s a Plan A), which may include hitting up the Silver Dollar for burgers, or tucking into a sweet or savory crepe at Cody Coffee.

Skills are earned and they are something the Cody Little Bellas will have for life after the program but Nyla wants something more for them.

“I hope the girls are excited for something new that they can have all for themselves,” said Nyla.

Registration for the Cody chapter of Little Bellas opens on February 1, 2020. To learn more about the new chapter, visit the program description here While you're there, follow the "Register" link to sign up for a reminder to let you know when registration is open!

*So time to 'fess up – this isn't really the way it happened. Nyla worked very hard to apply for a Little Bellas chapter for Cody and we sure are glad that she did!

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